‘Future of Sports’ Dialogue to Strengthen Nationwide Collaboration in the Sector launched by General Authority of Sports
H.E. Ahmed Belhoul Al Falasi:
Our aim is to bring in a new approach that aligns with the directives of our leadership for the future of the sports sector. We have set five principles to guide our efforts in the coming future: partnership, governance, nurturing talent, community sports, and advancing the UAE’s status. We aim to promote the UAE in regional and global sports arenas, insist its competitiveness, and establish it as a prime sports destination by hosting important tournaments and competitions.
The General Authority of Sports has set up the ‘Future of Sports’ Dialogue in an effort to promote collaboration among sports federations and organisations, bringing together stakeholders from across the local sports sector.
The Dialogue consists of a sequence of events that gather stakeholders from the industry, including interactive discussions, field visits, workshops, coordination meetings, brainstorming sessions, and other various activities.
The ‘Future of Sports’ Dialogue personifies the vision of the General Authority of Sports to promote cooperation and work together to drive the local sports sector towards bigger accomplishments. It seeks to develop new plans and procedures to enhance the local sports scene and carve a place for the sector in the UAE’s comprehensive development plans, in line with the country’s directives for the next 50 years.
His Excellency Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and Small and Medium Enterprises, Chairman of the General Authority of Sports, said: “Our goal is to develop a new approach that aligns with the directives of our leadership for the future of the sports sector, and that meets the aspirations of the sports community for local, continental, and international competitions. To that end, we have set five principles to guide our efforts in the foreseeable future, the first being partnership, which will set the tone for the period ahead. The second principle is governance, which helps establish a regulating environment; this is followed by nurturing talent – always a top priority in any game – and then community sports, which aim to promote sports as a way of life for citizens and residents of the UAE, while the fifth and final principle revolves around ways to use sports to advance the UAE’s status.”
The Dialogue started off with an inaugural remote interactive meeting, chaired by H.E. Al Falasi, and attended by Saeed Abdul Ghaffar, Secretary General of the General Authority for Sports; Major General Rashid Khamis bin Aaber Al Hamli, President of the UAE Shooting and Archery Federation; Major-General Nasser Abdul Razaq Al Razooqi, President of the UAE Karate Federation; Ahmed Hamdan Al Zeyoudi, Chairman of the UAE Taekwondo Federation; Nasser Al Tamimi, Secretary-General of the UAE wrestling and Judo Federation; Anas Alotaiba, President of the UAE Boxing Federation; and Dr. Saeed Musabeh Al Kaabi, President of the Emirates Bow and Arrow Federation.
Also being present at the meeting were Sultan Saif Sultan Al Samahi, President of the UAE Swimming Federation; Mansoor Juma Buosaiba, Chairman of UAE Cycling Federation; Sheikh Salem bin Sultan Al Qasimi, President of the Emirates Fencing Federation; Salem Yousef Al Qaseer, President of the UAE Sports For All Federation; Aisha Saif Al Seiri, Secretary-General of the Emirates Federation for School Sportas; Mohammed bin Sulayem, Secretary-General of the National Olympic Committee; and Mohammed Fadel Al Hameli, Chairman of the UAE National Paralympics Committee.
On the first interactive meeting, H.E. Al Falasi commented: “We will be holding these meetings continuously from now on, and according to a clear agenda. We view partnerships as a means to provide the opportunity for everyone to overcome challenges, define responsibilities, and promote teamwork. Our goal today is to promote the UAE’s status in the regional and global sports arenas, reaffirm its competitiveness in the sector, and establish the Emirates as a premier sports destination by hosting important tournaments and competitions, as well as the headquarters of continental and international federations. We also strive to attract clubs that are considering setting up camps and training courses, offering them the opportunity to benefit from our advanced infrastructure, stadiums, and facilities.”
“We now have many Emiratis in leadership positions across several continental and international federations. This is another advantage that strengthens our international network and helps refine expertise and competencies among homegrown talent who will carve a spot for Emirati sports institutions in decision-making processes globally.” he added.
Stage One: Constructive Dialogue and Positive Interaction The meeting was marked with positive participation and interactions, as well as valuable suggestions regarding the steps and initiatives required in the stages ahead. The discussion inspect ways to build strong foundations for a new beginning in UAE sports, enchance the entire sports ecosystem, and drive achievements that meet the aspirations of the leadership and the sports community. H.E. Al Falasi in his opening speech at the meeting, focused on the work that needs to be done in the period ahead, which must be rooted in true partnership and commitment to enhancing operations and performance in the sports sector in the near future.
Participants at the meeting emphasized the need to transparently assess the current state of the sector in order to pinpoint any gaps. They also cited strengthening partnerships with the private sector as an important step, along with holding periodic meetings three to four times a year, and training the next generation of champions, leaders, and technical and administrative staff.
Being in decision-making positions in continental and global federations is also critical, attendees asserted, as long as there is organised support and a clear plan. They discussed ways to enhance cooperation between federations and the National Paralympic Committee to enable People of Determination to participate in competitions, then went on to underline the role that school sports play in discovering talent at an early age, recruiting and training them to drive the sports sector in the UAE.
Ongoing Meetings and future Milestones The ‘Future of Sports’ Dialogue will continue to hold bilateral meetings with decision makers in the sports sector in an effort to rally efforts and expertise and mobilise them to create momentum, enhance the sports industry, and achieve better results and outputs.